Challenger Groups, Commercial Organizations, and Policy Enactment: An Empirical Study of Local Lesbian/Gay Rights Ordinances

Challenger Groups, Commercial Organizations, and Policy Enactment: An Empirical Study of Local Lesbian/Gay Rights Ordinances

By
Giacomo Negro, Fabrizzio Perritti, Glenn R. Carroll
American Journal of Sociology.
2013, Vol. 119, Pages 790–832

Drawing on theories of social movements and organizations, we examine how the expanding presence of commercial organizations and the growing diversity of their forms can foster policy change securing rights for a group of challengers in a community. Empirically, we analyze organizations linked to lesbians/gays and the promulgation of local ordinances banning discrimination, using a dataset covering American counties from 1972 to 2008. Using hazard models, we find that the rate of policy enactment increases: (1) with greater presence of lesbian/gay commercial organizations, particularly of those bridging toward the larger community; and (2) with greater diversity of their organizational forms. Finally, we find evidence that commercial and political organizations are linked in a complex way.